February 1st

Old Time Music Cornwall

February is Pete & Ellen Vigour Month. We are very fortunate to have them travel down to Cornwall to perform in the events listed below. Pete and Ellen are very fine musicians and lovely people so let’s give them a very warm Cornish welcome. As an added bonus, they bring the equally lovely Ray Banks with them. It’s gonna be a blast!

There are three very different events on three consecutive days so choose your favourite or come to all three dates to be fully inVigourated. (Sorry)

Old Time Session with Pete & Ellen Vigour featuring Ray Banks
8.00 Thursday 16th February
Blue Anchor
50 Coinagehall Street
TR13 8EL

We are very happy to announce that Pete and Ellen of Uncle Henrys Favourites (USA) will be leading this OT session assisted by Ray Banks (UK) on banjo. Expect some lively Old Time tunes and songs from the Vigour’s & locals alike. This will be a great evening of music and gives us all a rare opportunity to play with these fine musicians from Crozet, Virginia.

American Square Dance
Friday 17th February​
Flatfoot Workshop: 7.00-8.00pm
Square Dance: 8.00-11.00pm
​Lanner Band Hall
Lanner Hill
TR16 5SZ
Map also click here and scroll down page for more directions as there are TWO village halls in Lanner

An original American Square dance led by two authentic Old Time musicians and dance callers from the USA! Pete and Ellen Vigour will be assisted by one of the UK’s best banjo players Ray Banks. In addition the Dance will be preceded by a Flatfoot dance workshop run by Sibs Riesen.
For full information about the event or tickets please phone: 01736 33282
or email sibs@sibylle2.freeserve.co.uk
Full information & Facebook event page here

Old Time House Concert & Session with Pete
& Ellen Vigour featuring Ray Banks

8.00 Saturday 18th February
Higher Alsia Farm
St Buryan
TR19 6HG

Open to all but will be of particular interest to old time musicians and singers Pete & Ellen Vigour with Ray Banks will be performing a short house concert followed by an old time session at Alsia Farm House.

This should be a lot of fun and everyone will have the chance to listen to and play old time tunes with these lovely people in a comfortable and friendly environment. All are welcome but there are limited spaces so please book early.

£10.00 to include concert, session, tea coffee & nibbles. All money goes to the band.


Pickin’ Lunchtime in Reading

Hi Y’all, we invite you to get your monthly ‘Old Time Fix’ in Reading on every 1st Sunday 3-6pm at the Pickin’ Lunchtime

The Global Cafe
35-39 London Street
free parking at rear & only 5 min walk from train station
Ph: 0118 958 3555

Players of all levels, singers & dancers & friends are welcome to our monthly 1st Sunday acoustic music session. Generally American stringed band stuff (Old Time, Bluegrass, Blues & Folk) and hosted according to traditional session etiquette. See http://www.pegramjam.com/etiquette.html

Hope to see you there :O)

Your session hosts are Stu Weetman & Colm Daly


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January 30th

Keith and Cathy’s Picking Weekend

Friday 23thJune – Sunday 25th June 2017
Full details: www.keithburrows.org/picking-weekend.php
Lower Stock Farm
BS40 5HT


More fiddle players needed in the London session.

The Shakespeare’s Head
1 Arlington Way
020 8552 8308

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January 26th

Compton & Newberry UK tour – Jan/Feb 2017

Mike Compton and Joe Newberry’s UK tour hits England & Wales this week and next after enthusiastic receptions from Scottish audiences in Glasgow, Dundee and Moniaive. Mike and Joe are well known to old time enthusiasts here for their top notch mandolin, clawhammer and guitar picking and great brother harmonies. For Selattyn (Shropshire) tickets contact Jock Tyldesley at jockt66@gmail.com. Please note the Sheffield and Frodsham gigs are sold out. Also please note the (free) London concert at the Southbank Centre is an early evening event starting at 5:30pm.

Sat, 21/01/2017 Celtic Connections festival Glasgow
Sun, 22/01/2017 Dundee Acoustic Music Club (2pm show) Dundee
Tue, 24/01/2017 Craigdarroch Arms Hotel Moniaive
Wed, 25/01/2017 Fellside Centre (American Roots in Cumbria) Kendal
Fri, 27/01/2017 Seven Arts (Mewl Music) Leeds
Sat, 28/01/2017 Steel City Opry at the Heeley Institute Sheffield (sold out)
Sun, 29/01/2017 The Cross Keys Selattyn
Tue, 31/01/2017 Conservative Club (Helsby Bluegrass Club) Frodsham (sold out)
Wed, 01/02/2017 Grateful Fred’s at The Atkinson Southport
Thu, 02/02/2017 The Three Horseshoes (Musically Monstrous) Towersey
Fri, 03/02/2017 Southbank Centre (5.30pm show) London
Sat, 04/02/2017 St George’s Church New Mills
Sun, 05/02/2017 Gwesty Victoria Hotel (Owen’s Gigs) Menai Bridge


Due to a sudden change of circumstances I am unable to attend the Gainsborough Festival. Therefore, anyone wishing to purchase copies of the Reed Island Rounders’ new cd please email me: njap53@tiscali.co.uk

Also, this is my last blog entry, a few weeks earlier than planned. You will have to wait for my successor to get going for any further information.

So long and thanks, Nick

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January 17th

More than likely you will have found out through social media that fiddler, musicologist and Henry Reed expert Alan Jabbour passed away at the end of last week. I had the great pleasure to meet and play with him a couple of times. He was a Gainsborough Festival guest in 2005 and I’m glad I had a hand in organizing that. He’ll be much missed.


From Pam Russell:
Flatfooting Workshop Day raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research
Saturday March 4th 10:00 – 4:00 at Thurning Village Hall, Thurning, nr Oundle, Northants PE8 5RD

Want to learn or improve this fun rhythmic foot tapping dance form? If you have never danced before and would like to have a go, this your chance! There will be plenty of action for improvers too!
All you need is a pair of flat slidey shoes. worn out trainers are great.
Lunch will be bring and share. refreshments will be provided.
We will, of course, start very gently and end with a little dance party. Music will be provided by our resident musicians Jane and Sandy who would love others to join them- an opportunity to play slow and gentle or learn a few old timey tunes. Experienced players please support!
Suggested donation is £10 but pay what you wish.
Have fun and support us raising funds for this very significant charity.
For more information and to confirm you are coming, email Pam



The Down Trodden String Band have a new CD to promote. They are guests at Gainsborough Festival and can also be found on Tuesday 25th Apr on the Folk Train

“For those who have not experienced this unique event, we play on the 19:14 train from Sheffield to Edale, then everyone piles into The Rambler Inn where we refresh ourselves and play some more, and then we finish the evening by playing on the return train to Sheffield. Full details on the folk train website but be warned – if you want a decent seat, come early – it’s usually heaving!”



A reminder for those in the UK who wanted copies of the Reed Island Rounders new cd Wild Goose Chase and want to avoid the current extortionate US postal charges that I have some copies available. Details in the November 3rd blog and I will have the remainder at Gainsborough Festival if you want to risk the wait.


The Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music present

“A Fiddlers Convention on Duck Mountain”

Friday, February 3rd, 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 420 Willa Road, Newark, Delaware 19711.

Performed jointly by Uncle Henry’s Favorites, from Charlottesville, Virginia, and Orpheus Supertones, from southeastern Pennsylvania, this show will certainly set your toes a-tappin’ and put a smile on your face as these folks run through a gamut of Old Time fiddle tunes, other instrumentals, songs, and stories. These two groups brought the “Battle of the Bands” to the BFOTM stage back in 2010. When it comes to Old Time music, these bands have some of the oldest histories of any present-day groups.

The Orpheus Supertones have been together for nearly fifteen years. Banjo player Pete Peterson played in the Golden Age Retrievers starting in the late ‘60’s. Fiddling bandmate Walt Koken also had a band then, and in the ‘70’s he helped form the acclaimed Highwoods Stringband. Bassist Hilary Dirlam played in the Arm and Hammer String Band, back in the 70’s. She has also played with master North Carolina old timers Carroll Best and Luke Smathers, now deceased, and has recorded the music of native Nepalese musicians and singers. Fiddler Clare Milliner honed her craft in the Kennett Symphony in the early 70’s, and is co-author, with Walt, of the Milliner – Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes, the largest such compendium to date. Guitarist Kellie Allen, the youngest band member, started in the early 80’s in a band called Pay Attention!


Upcoming Stompin’ Dave gigs in Exeter, Ringwood, Southampton, Evershot, Totton, Yeovil, Charminster, Bath, Dorchester, Cheltenham & South Petherton. For more info. please visit http://www.stompinstore.com/gigs–2

davestomp@yahoo.co.uk 01308 488387

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January 12th

Here are the workshops for Gainsborough Festival. Note that I have no information about ability levels etc. so please address any questions to festival@foaotmad.org.uk

Old-Time tunes from West Virginia – Pete Vigour
Old-Time Square Dance – Ellen Vigour
Bass in an Old-Time band – Mark Beall
Original Fiddle tunes – Jim Childress
Fiddle tunes by ear – Rosie Newton
Claw Hammer Banjo – Richie Stearns
Fiddle tunes of Henry Reed – Bertram Levy
Banjo (the ‘Clock’ technique) – Bertram Levy
Old-Time Harmony Singing – Roger Jackson
Beginners Flat-footing – Paul & Clare Sheridan
Advanced Flat-footing – Pam Russell
Medium Slow Jam – Stuart Wade
Ukulele -Steve Wise
Fiddle (‘C’ tunes) – Jock Tyldesley
Shape Note Singing – Cath & Phil Tyler
Beginners Banjo – Su Mo
Playing tunes (Jam) – Pete & Ellen Vigour
Bass – Jed Greenburg
Fiddle – Robin Gillan
Singing Traditional Songs in Modern Times – Jim Miller


German/French Oldtimers ‘Fierce Flowers’ have some UK gigs on their way to socialize at Gainsborough Festival:

Feb 04 Winemakers Club – Farringdon, London https://www.facebook.com/events/369971866688761/
Feb 05 The Prince – London, Stoke Newington
Feb 06 The Jamboree – London with Whiskey Moonface, Dakota Jim, The Residents
Feb 08 What’s Cookin’…Upstairs @ Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club, opening for the Steve & Ben Somers Country Band
Feb 19 Edinburgh- Roots Music Showcase @ The Jazz Bar https://www.facebook.com/The-Roots-Music-Showcase-363596413849492/



Clogging classes at St Catherine’s Schoolroom, Preston Lane, Faversham, Kent ME13 8LG

If you haven’t been before, it’s in the churchyard of St Catherine’s, as you come into the car park, turn left down the lane towards the footbridge over the railway line – you wouldn’t know there was a little hall there but there is! Call if you can’t find it 07703 639 720

Weekly on Thursdays – 12 weeks
5th Jan – 30th March (no class on 17th Feb for half term break)

Beginners: 6.30-7.30pm
Improvers: 7.45-8.45pm
Intermediates: 8.45-9.45pm
Cost: 12 week term – payable by term or half term
Beginners and/or Improvers: £78 / £66 (half term – £39/£33 )
Improvers and Intermediates: £126 / £102 (half term – £63/£51)

If it’s your first clogging class – it’s free! So do bring your friends along to have a go at no expense!!


Jeff Warner returns to the UK in September 2017. He currently has a few spare dates, if anyone would like to book him for gigs, workshops or talks on his parents’ song collecting experiences please email Phil Tyler : ptyl@onetel.com



There’s an upcoming tour from Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth Laprelle:

May 6 TBD
May 7 Edinburgh TradFest
May 8 TBD
May 9 Cotswolds
May 10 Guilford
May 11 Arts Centre, Colchester
May 12 King’s Place, London (with Eli West)
May 13-15 Brighton – Brighton Festival
May 16 St. James Wine Vaults, Bath
May 17 Philharmonic Music Room, Liverpool
May 18 Sheffield
May 19 Pembrokeshire
May 20 Presteigne (with Eli West)



A chance to see Rayna Gellert accompanied by Kai Welch and Jamie Dick (from Rhiannon Giddens band) at Manorbier Youth Hostel, Skrinkle Road, Pembrokeshire, SA70 7TT. Tickets are £10 or £8 for concessions, available from Jackie Kempton on 01646 661363.

As mentioned some weeks ago here’s the updated tour:
Jan 20 Whitstable Sessions, Whitstable
Jan 21 Cowshed, Huddersfield
Jan 22 Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge
Jan 25 Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
Jan 26 The Green Note, London
Jan 28 The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset
Feb 1 Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, N.I.
Feb 2 Bangor Castle, County Down, N.I.
Feb 3 Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, N.I.
Feb 4 Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady, N.I.
Feb 5 Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, N.I.


Dave Stacey has a refurbished White Lady banjo for sale See here for details and photos


Posted in News | Comments Off on January 12th

January 5th

Most FOAOTMAD members will have received their latest copy of the Old Time News. Included with it should have been a notification of our Annual General Meeting to take place at the Gainsborough Festival (10am on Sunday Feb 12th) and also a nomination form for positions on the committee.

In case this is missing or you want to nominate for more than one post you can download further copies here Nomination Form 2017

Remember that members can nominate other members (with their agreement) for ANY of the committee positions, not just the ones listed.

Also, where current post holders are prepared to continue, there is no need to re-nominate them.


For those wishing to pay for their Gainsborough tickets by Paypal or other means (there is a form to download), check out this page:

Tickets here


A message from the Fiddling Thomsons, Ryan and Brennish:
We really enjoyed the opportunity to perform Old Time music at the Bath Folk Festival this year. We’ve just posted some video of our festival performance on YouTube:

Chinquapin Hunting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ogSl59cQU
Cumberland Gap – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhus-PusJIU
Breaking up Christmas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ntjq0yvluc
Pollys Mountain Kettle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr1nEJkUj5g
Dickson County Blues – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISZjMrh1C3U

We run a weekly jam session at our home in New Hampshire, USA, and invite old time musicians from the UK to contact us if traveling here, to get together and make music.


Rachel Eddy – Fiddle and Banjo workshops plus a house concert, 20th and 21st May in West Sussex. For more information or any queries about the weekend please contact Chris Aggs christopheraggs@gmail.com or phone on 01903 892891 or mobile 07952 117016

Rachel Eddy workshops

Rachel’s other dates:
12-14 May Crossover Festival, Cheshire
17 May Towersey, Oxfordshire
23 May Hastings
26 May Square Dance, Richmond, London
27 May The Harrison, London


February concerts in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes,
Chinnor Road, Towersey, Oxon, OX9 3QY
Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

2nd Feb Mike Compton & Joe Newberry
8th Feb Red Dog Run
17th Feb Bertram and Madeline Levy

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at



Two wonderful old time musicians Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are touring the UK this winter with Tom Paxton.

Paxton Tour

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December 22nd

However and whatever you celebrate this time of year… have a good one!


Next session at the Huntsman Inn, Ide , near Exeter will be Sunday 8th January (NOT 1st as the pub is shut). Usual start time of 7.30


Mark Schatz is a late addition to Sore Fingers and is looking into finding a little work either before or after – available Apr 13-15 and 22-25. His main instrument is bass but he’s an accomplished clawhammer banjo player, a skilled Appalachian clogger and hambone teacher as well.

If you can help out please contact him the sooner the better:


Bertram Levy tour poster


Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
23-25 June, Fillongley Village Hall, CV7 8EQ

Early Bird tickets are now on sale from the website, together with details of the festival, new location, new dates and bands booked so far. As previous festivals, we will be offering a £5 discount on the weekend ticket (including the Early Bird) for both BBMA and FOAOTMAD members. We will also be sponsoring Jessie’s Fund, our favoured charity.

At the moment, only The Malvern Hillbillies are booked to play but more Old Time bands will follow.

Full details and ticket purchasing online at www.tamworthbluegrass.org


There’s an extra date in the Compton & Newberry tour at St George’s Church, New Mills, High Peak on Sat 4th Feb.
I have updated the poster which can be found in the 8th December blog.


1950/1960s Bacon Belmont 5 string banjo with resonator back and pearlescent finishes, plus case.
Good condition. Contact John Holmes – johnholmes1953@outlook.com – for more details.

photo here
photo here

Posted in News | Comments Off on December 22nd

Gainsborough festival

Here’s an early view of the poster for Gainsborough. More details on the artists will appear in the Old Time News (for members).

2016 poster

There will also be a double bass workshop run by Mark Beall of Uncle Henry’s, so anyone interested should bring along their instruments.

And for those of you who ‘do’ Facebook there is an event you can join click here

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December 15th

I am informed there are vacancies for exhibitors/sales at the Gainsborough Festival. Interested? If so, please contact Tim – festival@foaotmad.org.uk



Sweet Sunny South 2017 will feature Kate Lissauer, The Farwells and The Horsenecks.
Weekend of the 8th September 2017


Pre-Christmas oldtime session in the Pirate Inn, Alverton, Penzance TR18 4PS on Thursday 22nd at 8pm.


American Square Dance with musicians and caller from Virginia, USA

Pete and Ellen Vigour of Uncle Henry’s Favourites with guest banjoist Ray Banks

Plus flatfoot dance workshop with Sibs Riesen

Friday 17th Feb 2017
WORKSHOP: 7pm-8pm
DANCE: 8.15pm-11pm
Lanner Band Hall, Lanner Hill, Redruth TR16 5SZ
No bar: Bring your own drink and food
Tickets: £7/10*; Under 16s £3/£5* (*Workshop and dance)
01736 332821 sibs@sibylle2.freeserve.co.uk

In support of the Carn Marth Trust


As well as the above, Pete and Ellen Vigour’s itinerary includes:

Thu Feb 16 leading the Jam Session at the Blue Anchor Pub in Helston
Sat Feb 18 a short house concert followed by a jam session at Guy Charles Ponsford’s house near Lands End
Sun Feb 19 House Concert in Torquay

and, of course, the complete Uncle Henry’s Favourites line-up are headliners at Gainsborough Festival, February 10th to 12th.


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December 8th

Rayna Gellert is on tour with Kai Welch and Jamie Dick

Jan 20 Whitstable Sessions, Whitstable
Jan 22 Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge
Jan 25 Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
Jan 26 The Green Note, London
Jan 28 The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset
Feb 1 Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, N.I.
Feb 2 Bangor Castle, County Down, N.I.
Feb 3 Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, N.I.
Feb 4 Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady, N.I.
Feb 5 Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, N.I.



Compton and Newberry poster

They are still looking to fill a couple of dates which would need to fit in with the existing bookings below, so if you can help, please give Maria Wallace a shout on the FOAOTMAD Facebook group, email admin@truenorthmusic.co.uk or contact her through her website www.truenorthpromotions.co.uk which also has tour details and links.



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